Rebecca Sive: Every Girl Can Be a Leader, And It’s Never Too Early to Get Started

Rebecca Sive author of "Every Day is an Election Day: A Woman's Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House

author of “Every Day is an Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House”

When I was in elementary school, my mother was my Brownie troop leader. Later, I graduated to the Girl Scouts. A friend’s mother led that troop, and we had all kinds of adventures. I remember best lots of outdoor activities and sports fun, just like I’m sure Smarty Pants Yoga girls enjoy, too. When I got to high school, I was honored to be selected as one of the girls (we came from all over the country) who went to “All-State,” an opportunity to take a two week hiking and camping trip in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. When we got to our base camp, I was selected to be the leader of our patrol. Off we went, a small group of teenage girls, into the mountains.
I share this story with you to say that, if you’re also thinking about becoming a girl leader, here are some of my recollections about how to go about it.


Have a plan. You really can’t expect to lead others if you don’t have a plan for what you want to accomplish. It could be a school project, or one with Smarty Pants Yoga, or one to improve your neighborhood. Certainly, as the holidays approach, it’s a good time to think about planning and leading a project that helps those less fortunate.


You need to be able to clearly explain why you should be the project’s leader. What needed skills do you have? Are you a good spokesperson? Do you know other girls you can recruit to participate? Are your parents willing to help out and recruit others to do so?


Projects that improve girls’ lives are worth promoting and sometimes require money to accomplish. Are you prepared to promote your project and raise money for it, as well as to be its leader or a spokesperson? All work is meaningful and valuable, so make sure you make it clear to your girlfriends you’re willing to do everything that needs doing, not just the glamorous stuff.


Be willing to share both what you know and how successful strategies for being a girl leader. I know you already know this, but remember that no one likes a person who hogs the limelight or is selfish. Besides, it’s true that the more girls who become leaders, the more attention the world will pay to the projects girls undertake. And that’s important, if your goal is to help make the world a better place for every girl.

I treasure these lessons of girls’ leadership and share them in my book, Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide. Fortunately, Smarty Pants Yoga is offering my book for direct purchase (at a 30% discount for either the print or the e-book version). All you have to do is click here; order as many copies as you want; and then use promo code, bsmart30 to place your order. One of my friends read the book aloud with his third-grade daughter: she became the mayor of her class! You can too, and I hope you will.

REBECCA SIVE IS AN EXPERT ON THE SUBJECT OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP. Her credentials are many — she is a lecturer at Chicago Harris (School of Public Policy), University of Chicago; a former member of the Illinois Human Rights Commission, corporate executive and foundation director; and the author of Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House.